Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Showcasing Your Talent
During a job interview, you're likely to be asked to elaborate on the specific skills you would bring to the position. This is a great opportunity to outline everything from your unique skill set, knowledge and experience, to practical and non-tangible skills you learned as a working parent, such as organization, multitasking and time management. Match your skills to the requirements listed on the job description, and you'll be able to make a solid case as to why you're the best pick for the position.
Before you decide which skills to emphasize, have a clear picture of what the company is looking for. This is especially important during an industry-specific interview in which certain software programs, computer operating systems, equipment or machinery usage, or other specialized skills are required. You can easily find this information in the job description. If the description wasn't posted as part of the job listing, contact the recruiter, hiring manager or human resources representative you're working with to ask for a copy of this document.
Parse the Job Description
Carefully read the job description and read in-between the lines. For example, when the posting says the company is looking for someone able to “operate efficiently in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment,” what they really want to know is that you hold up well under pressure, can juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, and that you're able to stay on-task and on time. If a job description says you're expected to “work in a team environment with limited resources,” they really want to know that you have the skills and ability to get things done with your colleagues on a shoestring budget. Look for the hidden meaning in the job description and develop your description of your skill set from this vital information.
Conduct a Self-Brainstorming Session
Sit down and make a list of every single job-related skill you have. It doesn't matter how minute or inconsequential it may seem; it's a good activity to help you unearth all the unique qualifications you bring to a job. Hard skills are things like the ability to solve complex equations, decipher an analytical spreadsheet, or evaluate information and condense it into measurable metrics. Soft skills are your people skills, such as the ability to communicate, think outside the box, strategize and learn new things.
Hard Skills Include:
- Computer programs, software
- Equipment and machinery
- Specialized training or licensing
Soft Skills Include:
- Time management
- Attention to detail
Big Picture Thinking
Highlighting a range of qualifications for a potential employer can help you establish yourself as a well-rounded individual with multiple facets to your professional personality. Many companies recognize that soft skills are often personality traits, and they understand that they can train you in any hard skills you may be lacking. Emphasize your willingness to take on challenges and to continue learning throughout the course of your career to make yourself a versatile and valuable employee. Every job comes with a learning curve, but expressing a willingness to tackle new tasks will put you at the top of the interview pack.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.